After becoming the first South Korean player to win a Major League Baseball (MLB) Gold Glove, Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres) is now an MLB-recognized “Defensive Master”.
The Gold Glove, which Kim received on June 6 (KST), is awarded to the best defender at each position in both major leagues.
This season, Kim played every position in the infield except first base and anchored the San Diego infield without fail.
He played the most games at second base (106), logging 856⅔ innings, but also saw time at third base (32 games, 253⅓ innings) and shortstop (20 games, 153⅓ innings) whenever the team needed him.
His error total is seven (four at second base, one at third base, and two at shortstop).
The Gold Glove evaluates defense only, and is voted on after the season by each team’s managers and coaches.
In addition, since 2013, the winners have been partially evaluated based on sabermetric defensive metrics to ensure fairness.
Kim is the first Asian player to win the Gold Glove since Ichiro Suzuki (10 consecutive years from 2001-2010).
Ichiro was an outfielder, so Kim is the first Asian infielder to win a Gold Glove.
Kim is also in the running for the Silver Slugger, which is awarded to the player with the most offense by position.
Kim is among the National League’s utility players nominated for the Silver Slugger award, which will be announced on Tuesday, along with Betts, Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs), and Spencer Steer (Cincinnati Reds).
No Korean player has ever won a Silver Slugger, and the only Asians to do so were Ichiro (2001-2007-2009) and Shohei Ohtani (2022).
Ichiro is the only Asian player to win both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in the same year.
While the Gold Glove is symbolized by a “golden glove,” the Silver Slugger receives a “Louisville Slugger” bat that shimmers with silver.
With the introduction of the National League’s designated hitter system in 2022, the Silver Slugger award for pitchers was eliminated and replaced by a utility player.
In fact, Kim’s Silver Slugger award is a long shot.
He had his best season yet this year, batting .260 with 17 home runs, 60 RBIs, 38 doubles, and an OPS of .749, but he has a lot of competition.
Betts had an MVP-caliber season with a .307 batting average, 39 home runs, 107 RBIs, and an OPS of .987, while Bellinger bounced back with a .307 batting average, 26 home runs, 97 RBIs, and an OPS of .881.
Steer finished with a .271 batting average, 23 home runs, 86 RBIs, and an OPS of .820.
Regardless of whether he wins the award or not, it is significant that he was named a finalist for the best offensive player by position. 먹튀검증